I have begun a course for my graduate program titled, “Equity and Cultural Leadership.” The course is designed to provoke self-reflection in relation to equity and diversity in our school culture, and bring awareness and cultivate a sensitivity to being culturally responsive. So far in the course, we have looked at our own awareness of cultural diversity, such as writing about our first experiences noticing cultural differences around us and what age we were. We are also looking at the idea that students and educators are strangers because they sometimes lack shared experiences. It was helpful to reflect on our own understanding the experiences of our students and ways we can share experiences. We must also consider some of our students’ lack of access to experiences that we may take for granted. This may require us to do more building of background knowledge in the classroom. In addition to these reflections, we are working our writing our own cultural autobiography. According to Terrell & Lindsey (2009), “Some of us are very aware of our cultural identity in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ableness, faith, and socioeconomic status. Others of us, for many reasons, either are unaware of our cultural identities or reject the importance of culture in our lives.” (p 30). I think it is important to be aware of our cultural identity and how our first awareness came about. It leads us to a great appreciation of the cultures and diversity around us leading us to be more culturally proficient educators.
Terrell, R. D. & Lindsey, R. B. (2009). Culturally proficient leadership: The personal journey begins within. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Mrs. Newton – 8th Grade Science